In what could be construed as an indictment of the tendency of the Centre to prioritise intelligence rather than political inputs in Jammu and Kashmir,Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said secret agencies cannot be allowed to dictate our Kashmir policy and what the state really needs is normal politics.
Speaking to a select group of reporters while returning from his two-day Kashmir visit,Ramesh said the state needed to see less of security forces and more of government activity. What Kashmir needs is politics and development,not secret agencies.The Indian state must be more visible through political activity but what people see instead are security forces on the streets, Ramesh said,adding that while security was definitely important,it cant be ignored that the state is just right for a major political and development initiative.
Targeting the main opposition party,Ramesh said BJPs brand of nationalism will hurt Kashmir. According to him,the hyper nationalism demonstrated by the party can seriously destroy the process of normalising things in the state.
Ramesh said Kashmir Valley was returning to normalcy and there was a positive response for recently launched central schemes. Echoing J&K CM Omar Abdullahs remarks about how Kashmiris are often treated with suspicion in other parts of the country,Ramesh said this was unfortunate and the rest of the country needed to treat the state with greater sensitivity. Kashmir has changed. The question is if India has also changed, he said.